MIKE Tolomia and Kevin Ferrer hit crucial threes in the endgame to lead the Gilas cadets to a pulsating 66-65 win over host Thailand at the end of the 2016 Seaba Stankovic Cup eliminations on Thrusday in Bangkok.
Tolomia tied the score at 63-all with a three-pointer with 1:14 left before Ferrer hit another three from the deep left corner with 55 seconds left in a game where the young Filipinos struggled to keep their composure before a hostile crowd.
That 66-63 lead thankfully held for the Gilas cadets, who endured a late run by the gritty Thais and a bonehead inbound pass in the game's final play that almost led to a buzzer beater by the hosts.
"You can see that Thailand is very experienced," said Gilas cadets coach Nash Racela.
Troy Rosario scored 20 points for the Gilas cadets while Mac Belo added 18 as the Philippines stayed unbeaten in the regional competition - but only barely.
The Philippines and Thailand meet again on Saturday for the Seaba Cup title.
If the Gilas cadets hope to win that one, they have to shoot the ball better than on Thursday night when they made just 3 of 37 attempts from beyond the three-point arc.
Fortunately, two of those three-pointers came after Thailand took a 63-60 lead into the final one-and-a-half minutes.
Philippines (66)—Rosario 20, Belo 18, Tolomia 9, Ferrer 7, Jalalon 6, Vosotros 4, Pogoy 2, Jose 0, Escoto 0, Pessumal 0.
Thailand (65)—Ananti 14, Jaisanuk 12, Lakhan 10, C. Klahan 7, Lertmalaiporn 7, Chanthachon 6, P. Klahan 5, Apiromvilaichai 2, Ghogar 2, Sekteera 0, Samerjai 0.
Quarters: 21-12, 32-33, 49-48, 66-65.